Category: Articles

Articles cover the wide range of federal administrative litigation and personnel actions affecting federal employees. Topics include, but are not limited to, federal and public employee discipline, adverse actions, removals, demotions, disciplinary reassignments, EEO, Unfair Labor Practice complaints, grievances, arbitration, and other federal and public sector (State and local) administrative litigation and personnel matters

EEOC or MSPB Motion for Stay

An EEOC or MSPB Motion for Stay is made by one party (sometimes both parties in a joint motion) in an EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board) case to temporarily halt the proceedings of the…

EEOC Scheduling Order

An EEOC scheduling order is a formal document issued by an EEOC Administrative Judge that sets out the timeline and deadlines for various stages of the EEOC hearing process. This Order is typically issued just prior to the start of…

Damages in Federal Sector EEO Cases

Damages in Federal Sector EEO cases are specific.  Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate an individual for actual losses suffered as a result of discrimination in the workplace. These damages are intended to make the individual whole by reimbursing them…

The Initial Decision

The Initial Decision by a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) judge is a ruling made by a presiding administrative law judge that addresses a complaint or appeal filed by a federal employee or applicant for federal employment. The MSPB is…

Temporal Proximity

Temporal proximity is a legal term used to link events that occurred relatively close to each other. Application of this term predominantly arises in connection with EEO complaints, (post) Reasonable Accommodation claims (reprisal), and whistleblower claims in the federal sector,…

Are Douglas Factors Required?

We often receive calls from prospective clients who believe their due process was violated because the agency failed to conduct a Douglas Factors analysis in connection with a proposed action. Some unions have even advised federal employees that an agency…

The Initial Case Assessment

We often receive inquiries from prospective clients who are involved in some type of administrative personnel litigation and are confused.  This confusion typically relates to the unfamiliarity and complexity of certain actions such as a proposed removal or disciplinary action,…

Bruner Presumption

An adverse action may assist a federal employee in applying for FERS disability. This is generally referred to as the “Bruner Presumption”.

Returning to the Office

As federal employees begin returning to the office or otherwise contend with instructions to do so, it is important they understand implications for decisions in not returning to the office as instructed.

Performance Awards

End of year performance awards can be a highly contentious issue. This time of year we receive an incredible number of inquiries from federal employees concerning annual performance appraisals and associated (linked or unlinked) “bonuses”.  It should be noted that these…

Protected Health Information (PHI or Medical Information)

The safeguarding and regulatory compliant handling of Protected Health Information (PHI), also referred to more broadly as medical information, in our opinion, presents one of  the most significant risks for federal agencies and managers (particularly with an aging workforce and increased frequency…

Federal Agency Discovery Requests

Employees should understand that just as the affected employee can serve discovery requests upon the agency, the agency can serve discovery requests upon the affected employee.

Union Representative: Good or bad idea?

There is a prevailing theory that it is better to have a union representative (also commonly referred to as “union steward”), than not have a union representative, given such a need. We are certainly proponents of labor organizations and their…

Douglas Factors in Federal Employment

In determining a penalty in an adverse action, an agency should consider a number of factors. Among the many considerations are the “Douglas Factors” in certain situations.  If the agency fails to make these considerations or is otherwise unable to prove…

Duty of Fair Representation and Federal Employees

Typical Duty of Fair Representation Inquiry Typical inquiries concerning the issue or concept of Duty of Fair Representation involves claims that the local union is incompetent, not active, or at the worst, corrupt. Such claims are actually not unusual.  Many…

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and OWCP Claims

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) in connection with Office of Worker’s Compensation Claims (DOL OWCP) is a source of confusion for federal employees, as well as agencies.  In our experience, this is largely due to a number of misperceptions of affected employees…

Federal Employee Retirement (After Being “Fired”)

Federal employee retirement benefits are often an enigma. From annuity calculations, supplemental benefits, deferrals, the role of social security, and a host of other questions we receive. However, one of the most requests we receive is whether an employee loses…

Grievance Presentation

Grievance Presentation by federal and state level unions rely on negotiated grievance procedures primarily for contract enforcement.